“Better health” often ranks as one of the top new year’s resolutions for many. But exactly how can we go about doing so? We share 5 simple habits that you can implement even before the new year starts!
#1: Dedicate time for working out the lower body
Everyone loves to look great in a pair of jeans, but that is not the only reason why we should be spending more time on our legs and glute muscles (otherwise known as the buttocks).
Leg workouts engage major muscle groups of your body, which can help to improve overall physical strength and balance. A study suggests that strength in your legs is likely a stronger indicator of future health than the amount of muscle you have overall.
So don’t skip leg day at the gym, and prioritize it by putting in as the first workout to complete in the week.
#2: Track how much time you are spending on your phone
You are probably aware of how inseparable we are to our phones. Not only is it disrupting our social life, but the excessive time spent on the phone has been found to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, sleep problems, loneliness, and depression.
To start reducing the amount of time that you spend on your phone, try installing an app, like Stay Free, that would help you track the hours that you spend on your phone and then gradually whittle down the time spent on it.
#3: Eat your vegetables first
Vegetables are probably not the first item that you reach out for at the dinner table, which is why it makes the most sense to make a commitment to finish your servings of vegetables first.
Having the greens as a starter means that you will most likely finish it all when you are the hungriest. Consuming greens before your carbs also slow down the speed at which carbs are absorbed into the bloodstream, which may have beneficial effects on the blood sugar levels.
If you are trying to lose weight, having your greens first may satiate you enough so that you do not overeat on other unhealthy food items.
#4: Develop gratitude
Studies have shown that just by being grateful for what you have in life can lead to better physical health. Study participants who kept a journal writing down things they were grateful for had reduced levels of inflammation and better heart rhythm. This could be due to the effect of lower stress levels as gratitude helps us to manage and cope better in stressful times.
You can start off by keeping a daily journal where you write down 2 to 3 things that you are grateful for every day, ranging from friends, family, pets, colleagues, and even good food. Or, if you would like to be more spontaneous, start writing short thank you note to anyone that has helped you or give genuine, meaningful compliments.
#5: Schedule regular health screening
Even if you feel perfectly healthy, regular health screenings are important as symptoms may not be evident until it is too late. Regular screenings can improve the chances of early detection and treatment of diseases. It is recommended that you screen regularly for hypertension, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol, depending on your age. Singapore Citizens and permanent residents are eligible for subsidized health screenings using the CHAS card at DA Clinic outlets.